Invite a J-1 Scholar

Inviting a J-1 Scholar

Checklist for Departments

As the image shows, inviting a J-1 scholar involves ten steps and multiple players. OIPS has created a checklist that will serve as your guide throughout this process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email Irina Chizhova, Associate Director for Faculty & Exchange Visitor Services, at

Click here to download the Checklist for Sponsoring Departments 2023-2024.

Click here to download J-1 Visiting Scholar Invitation Letter (*optional).


The process can take 3-4 months:

  • 1-2 months to prepare J-1 application packet (department)
  • 2 weeks to process DS-2019 request (OIPS)
  • 1-2 months to obtain a J-1 visa (J-1 scholar)


Taxation for international visitors:

  • US sourced income is potentially taxed and reportable*
  • US income is taxed based upon the person’s tax status and the income type
  • Anyone with reportable income is required to have a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer ID Number
  • Anyone receiving income from Mason should visit the International Tax Office

Click here to learn more about US taxation for international visitors.

*U.S. sourced income is any payment from sources within the U.S.  Examples include wages and salary income paid by a U.S. employer, payments for services performed in the U.S., scholarships paid by U.S. Grantors.


Please review the following before you submit J-1 Scholar Request Form

The Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

If the exchange visitor will be government funded (U.S. or home government) and/or if the exchange visitor’s academic field is on the "skills list” for his or her country, he/she will be subject to the two-year home residency requirement.

The “skills list” is a county-by-country list of disciplines in which skills are needed by each country; the U.S. Department of State draws the list up in cooperation with the countries that appear on the list. For more information please visit:

If a J-1 exchange visitor is subject to 212(e), are J-2 spouse and dependents also subject?

Yes, if the J-2 enter the United States, they are also subject to the requirement. However, if the J-2 does not enter the United States, it’s important that the sponsor invalidate the J-2’s record in SEVIS. Otherwise, the J-2’s SEVIS status will match the status of the J-1 (Active) and it might lead to confusion about 212(e) subjectivity.

If the exchange visitor is subject to 212(e), can they apply for an F-1 visa (or change status to F-1) before fulfilling the 2-year home presence requirement?

Yes, exchange visitors who are subject 212(e) are allowed to apply for a change of status to F-1 or an F-1 visa before fulfilling the 212(e) requirement. However, they are not eligible for the following until they fulfill the 212(e) requirement:

  • H (temporary worker)
  • K (fiancé)
  • L (intracompany transferee)
  • Immigrant visa or adjustment of status to that of a Legal Permanent Resident

Health Insurance

According to immigration regulations (22 CFR S62.14), J-1 exchange visitors and accompanying J-2 dependents are required to maintain medical insurance with evacuation and repatriation coverage that meets U.S. government minimum requirements beginning on the start date of the J-1 program (indicated in item 3 of the DS-2019) continuing to the end of the J-1 program.

Minimum coverage must provide:

  1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 U.S. per accident or illness;
  2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000 U.S.;
  3. Expenses associated with medical evacuation of the Exchange Visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000;
  4. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

Note: There cannot be any breaks or lapses in insurance coverage even if an exchange visitor travels outside the U.S for an extended or short period of time during the J program.

J-1 Department Request Form

As stated in the Checklist for Departments, please complete the J-1 Department Request Form and gather required supporting documents.

A J-1 applicant must be supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds.  Personal funds may supplement but not substitute for institutional, governmental or agency funding. Personal funds only do not qualify. OIPS has determined that the minimum funding necessary to meet the J-1 visa requirements:

  • J-1 scholar: $2100/month ($25,200/year)
  • J-2 spouse: $1200/month ($14,400/year)
  • J-2 child: $600/month per child ($7,200/year)

The calculation is not based on the real cost of living in Fairfax or Arlington Counties. These estimates do not include travel to or from the visitor’s home country or within the U.S, entertainments, health insurance or other discretionary expenses.   Scholars should take into consideration that these estimates are very conservative and should factor in individual financial requirements when making plans to come to Mason. We inform incoming scholars about this in the Pre-Arrival Guide.


J-1 Scholar Request Form Instructions:

  1. Please complete all questions on the J-1 Department Request Form and return to Please allow  3 weeks for preparing the DS-2019 Form, immigration document for J-1 visa application. Scholar should allow 4-12 weeks (highly variable) for obtaining a visa at US embassy/consulate in home country.
  2. Obtain signatures of the responsible faculty member and Department Chair for Short-Term Scholar category or the Dean for Research Scholar category
  3. Attach Exchange Visitor’s Curriculum Vitae
  4. Attach financial support documentation (see part C)
  5. Attach a copy of passport identification page (see page 5 for information about dependents)
  6. Attach English Language Verification Form
  7. Attach Brief Research Statement
  8. Attach Export Compliance Form
  9. Attach Proof of J-1 and J-2 health insurance (for extension only)

If you have any questions, please contact via email:

Irina Chizhova
Associate Director for Faculty & Exchange Visitor Services
Office of International Programs & Services
SUB I, Room 4300